DLA Energy Chief Counsel retires

By DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Kathleen Murphy was honored by Defense Logistics Agency Energy for 33 years of dedicated federal service at a small retirement ceremony in the McNamara Headquarters Complex Nov. 13. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, attendance was limited to family and DLA senior leaders.

DLA General Counsel Matthew Pausch presented Murphy with the Distinguished Career Service Award and DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas presented her the Exceptional Civilian Service Award for the exceptional performance of her duties as Chief Counsel, DLA Energy. 

“Ms. Murphy is a lawyer of broad experience and deep expertise, as well as a person of sound judgment and complete integrity,” Pausch said. “Her analytical skills and ability to develop legal opinions were significant factors in successfully addressing these matters and providing clients with the rationale to support their decisions.”

The DLA Energy workforce is a dedicated group of professionals who serve a vital role in maintaining the Department’s energy security, Murphy said. To be part of the DLA Energy team has always been important to me and personally rewarding. 

Since 2006, Murphy has served as Chief Counsel and the principal legal advisor to the DLA Energy Commander. She was responsible for providing the full range of legal services to DLA Energy’s $12 billion petroleum and energy-related procurement programs, including bid protests, contract disputes, alternative dispute resolution, ethics, and business integrity. In addition, she provided employment law and ethics advice on sensitive matters to DLA Energy senior management.  

“Kathleen has aggressively represented the government’s best interests in disputes, litigation, and other matters involving client representation,” Pausch said. “She effectively used alternative dispute resolution techniques to resolve millions of dollars of claims against DLA Energy, recognizing the burdensome costs and inefficiencies associated with litigation, without compromising the interests of the Government.”  

Murphy received DLA’s Superior Civilian Award in 2016 and DLA’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2003. She received Vice President Gore’s Hammer Award in recognition of her participation on the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act Implementation Team for Protests and Disputes. She was the DLA representative on the Defense Acquisition Regulation Council’s ad hoc committee responsible for implementing Executive Order 12979, Agency Protests. In 2009, Murphy completed the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership for a Democratic Society program.

Murphy also serves as an Adjunct Professor at American University, Washington College of Law, and teaches Formation of Government Contracts. In 2019, she was appointed to serve on the Editorial Board of the ABA Public Contracts Law Journal.

“I am grateful for the opportunities DLA Energy provided,” Murphy said. “The common thread throughout my 33 years with DLA Energy has always been the people who get the job done no matter what the challenge may be.” 

Murphy graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1984 and received her J.D. degree from the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, in 1987. She was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1987 and joined DLA in September 1987.

Upon retirement, Murphy plans to spend more time with family, travel, and continue teaching.